Brought to my attention by IdeaFestival fan and filmmaker Tiffany Shlain, Lifehack has posted an up-close look at regret as told by a palliative caregiver, who says on her blog "that people grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality."
Among the most frequently cited regrets of the people in this caregiver's charge were that they had "lived the life others expected them to live," or that they "had never had the courage to express their feelings."
To come to terms with what's most honest and true about each of us as individuals doesn't happen without risk. That's certainly been the case in my life. But for too many, it's only when there's nothing left to lose that they can say out loud what's true for them. "I always wanted to do that, to be that, to go there" - or to explore, to find, and in the case of some,
to stop living someone else's life.
Each of us have a story to tell. And any good story has conflict. Otherwise there isn't a story, just a series of events. When reading the Lifehack post, I was reminded of Donald Miller's book, "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years," and in particular two sentences that brought me up short one night while quietly reading. Recalling the death of his uncle, he says:
My uncle told a good story with his life, but I think there was such a sadness at his funeral because his story wasn't finished. If you aren't telling a good story, nobody thinks you died too soon; they just think you died.
Whose story are you telling?